The U.S. Department of Agriculture will award Florida with a $7 million dollar bonus for only wasting $47 million dollars in the course of distributing food stamps to its recipients, Watchdog reports.
The remarkably high bonus came based on Florida placing second-last in the nation for the amount it misspent on food stamp benefits during 2013.
For the Department of Agriculture, fiscal management to the tune of $47,829,887 million dollars of wasted funds is worthy of recognition. This is a slight dip from their previous rank of lowest wastage rate in the nation last year, with an accompanying bonus of $8 million.
Interim Department of Children and Families Secretary for Florida Mike Carroll was encouraged by the results.
“We are pleased Florida is again being recognized as a leader for quality and accuracy in processing food assistance applications,” Mike Carroll said in a statement. “The department is committed to helping individuals in crisis and being able to quickly assist families and individuals in need of these resources is one of our principal functions.”
“This is the seventh year in a row that DCF’s improvements and accuracy in correctly processing food assistance applications has received accolades and bonus money from the federal government, totaling more than $54 million,” he added.
The Department of Agriculture allocates bonuses based on error rates. This year, Florida reached an error rate of 0.81 percent.
Virginia upset Florida for 2013 by achieving the rank of lowest error rate in the U.S., and so Virginia received a hefty $1.7 million dollar bonus. Its error rate was only 0.44 percent, which is approximately $6 million out of $1.4 billion.
More than one in ten Virginians are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the rate of Virginians on food stamps has exceeded population growth in the state. And nationally, 2013 saw 3,556,500 Americans join onto SNAP, a 200,000 increase from the previous year. However, data demonstrating the effectiveness of the program is not readily available.
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